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Top Ten Date Night Experiences in Gainesville, Florida

Wow, I can't believe I've already been in Gainesville for one year this month! Despite being in a Pandemic, I've had a little time to get out and explore the local community safely in recent months. Part of being a creator is finding unique and fun experiences to share with you all on my platform, but I am also navigating my first relationship while being involved in social media so we have been researching date night finds to enjoy together that I can also share with you all on my blogs! Obviously COVID has made things a little weird, but Terrance and I have been on a handful of these experiences already, and have added some to our future list so I hope you will find something you and your loved one can enjoy together. Furthermore, many of these businesses have either started in the last few years or even in the last year during the pandemic, and are locally owned, and could use your support! We love our local community!

1. Enjoy A Luxury Picnic Experience with Luxe Picnics GNV

Have you ever wanted to enjoy a relaxing picnic at Depot Park but haven't wanted to take the time to put it together, or maybe you don't have the time or creative energy to make it as beautiful as you'd like for it to be. Luxe Picnics takes ALL of the work out for you, from creating a custom picnic experience, setting it up, and taking it down afterwards. You simply show up and make memories...You can add on fun date night ideas like games, a photo session or paint night experience complete with a beautiful charcuterie board & comfy pillows to relax on. T and I had a lovely picnic at the initial launch at Depot Park, and it was SOOO beautiful and romantic. Stay tuned for more information behind the vision of this company and local owner, Denise, in our International Women's Day Blog March 8th!

2. Dinner & A Show at The Keys Grill and Piano Bar If you're a music lover this ones is for you! Dueling Piano shows and dinner at Celebration Pointe, The Keys Grill and Piano bar is one of my favorite nights out in Gainesville right now. Tables are spaced out, masks are required for entry and worn by all staff. The Dueling Piano shows begin Friday and Saturday nights from 8pm- Midnight, with an all request piano show on Thursdays. My favorite dish is the Duval St. Chicken Sandwich with the blackened seasoning and chipotle ranch, but I've heard this is also a great spot for seafood lovers! 10/10 recommend requesting Truth Hurts by Lizzo for your piano request. I promise, you will not be disappointed.

3. Relax & Refresh with A Spa Day at Piel

Self care is NOT optional, times are stressful and you have to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally! There's no better way then to do that with someone you love at Piel. I recently had my lashes lifted and tinted (Check out the posts on my Instagram) while my better half got his first ever facial from Pam (Yes, Men need skincare too!) You can book a relaxing facial, sauna experience, or pedicure and have a spa day

at a very affordable rate. This local business opened during the pandemic, is local and veteran owned, promotes self love and empowerment from their social media to the art on the walls and is a great way to refresh with someone you love ! Masks required for entry, wait in the car until your appointment, and temperatures are taken upon arrival for a safe spa experience.

4. Book an Axe Throwing Night at The Hatchetbury

I am SO excited to check out this experience! The HatchetBury is Gainesville's First Axe Throwing Bar and opened up in August (also during the pandemic). We are actually going on a small group date night this weekend, so stay tuned on my social for fun photos and follow up. Pricing is $24.95 per person for 1 hour or $39.95 per person for 2 hours and an ax-pert will walk you through the experience at the beginning of your hour. They do accept walk ins but reservations are recommended (we booked ours two weeks ago) for Saturday. The Hatchetbury practices social distancing between lanes, sanitizing, and temperature checks will be taken upon arrival with a contactless scanner. They do also have a bar with beer, cider and wine, and are not currently accepting cash payments due to Covid.

5. Get Dressed Up For A Couples Photo Session with Indie Reign Photography

Whether you are celebrating an anniversary or just want to get dressed up and have an excuse to celebrate your love, It's always a good idea to book a romantic couples session anywhere around Gainesville with local photographer Dani of Indie Reign Photography. Photography sessions are perfect for breaking out of your comfort zone to connect on another level, couples sessions help build intimacy with your partner and creating a memory to look back on for years to come.

6. Date Night In! Make your own pizza kit from V Pizza

Maybe you're craving an intimate night in, or it's been a long week and you just want to enjoy each others company and watch a movie at home. Stop by V Pizza and purchase one of their Make At Home Pizza Kit's for $16.50 - the kit includes one dough ball or gluten free crust, shredded mozzarella, pizza sauce and one free topping. You can order 1 topping or add additional toppings for an extra fee. I haven't tried this one yet, but am excited to check it out, since Pizza is one of my favorite comfort foods and we love an easy, interactive experience!

7. Channel your inner Picasso with a splatter room date night at Pinspiration

Image Pictured is from the Pinspiration Website

This is another on my date night wish list with T! Maybe we'll book an splatter session for March or April. Pinspiration has a variety of fun activities but this one looks like a neat way to work together to create a fun (messy) masterpiece! The Splatter Date package includes 1 large or 2 small canvases, a glow upgrade for two, chocolates for two, and two glasses of champagne. The studio provides protective gear, shower caps, booties and robes/coveralls for the splatter room. If you're not ready to commit to a in house crafting session you can also pick up a craft kit to go ( not a splatter kit) to bring the magic of Pinspiration to your home.

8. Wine & Charcuterie in the Wine Garden at Superette

Superette is a new sommelier staffed wine and provision shop, with curated culinary and home goods and an expansive wine garden. Superette has been taking over my Instagram feed with their beautifully crafted wine selections and wine garden content since opening in Fall, so I'm excited to get over there and check it out with T some time soon. Look at how beautiful the wine garden is!? Perfection! This is another local owned business that's opened up during the pandemic that we should be showing some love! Local community is everything.

9. Take a virtual trip to Italy! Book a Couples Pasta Making Workshop with Pasta by Pollio

This one is SO, SO fun! Elena is an amazing host and educator, and is truly a ray of sunshine. We hosted a Curvy Confidence private party event at my home a few months ago and this was a blast for even the least skilled chef. Pasta by Pollio came to Gainesville during the pandemic after the owner lost her job due to the pandemic, and decided it was time to pursue her passion for her ancestry and love of making pasta to create a fun interactive experience for all. You will also read more about Elena in our International Women's Day campaign March 8th but I promise her story is truly inspiring. Pasta by Pollio is a great way to pick up a new skill and enjoy a delicious meal with your loved one. A variety of packages are available but you can book a romantic date night for two with fresh sweet potato gnocchi and traditional ravioli. Each couple will take home their own properly packaged pasta or you can add an cooking and plating package for $10 per person with 2 pre made home made sauces.

10. Dave & Busters Date Night!

Dave & Busters was set to open last year but unfortunately the pandemic delayed the opening. Since opening in Early February, Dave and Busters has been stepping up date night arcade style at it's new location in Celebration Pointe and taking over the Word of Mouth group with it's posts raving about the new addition to date night. The Gainesville location features a full restaurant and arcade and will follow strict COVID-19 protocols for all employees and guests including wearing a mask, temperature checks for employees, disposable menus, and sanitizing between plays. Frontline pandemic workers and members of the armed forces will receive a 20% discount on food and games with a valid I.D. Have you been yet?

Wow! Date night in Gainesville has really grown in the last year despite Covid businesses are making it work. We love to see it... Which experience are you most excited about checking out? Let us know in the comments.